According to reports in local and financial newspapers, Aviva’s new chief executive Andrew Moss is understood to be considering axing the Norwich Union brand altogether in favour of simply using the Aviva branding in the UK.
Moss believes the move could boost the company’s global recognition. Aviva sells life assurance, investment and general insurance in the UK under the Norwich Union label but trades under Aviva in 25 markets around the world.
Policies sold in the UK are now jointly branded under both names and sources suggest Aviva will use this to test and compare brand recognition amongst consumers before making a final decision.
The general reaction from staff of Norwich Union, and residents of Norwich, varies from the annoyed, through outraged, to apoplectic. Norwich Union has been a major employer in the city for decades. As locals point out “Why even think of changing a name that is instantly recognised and immediately tells you where they are based?” They gleefully remind you that when the name Aviva was plucked out of thin air by very well paid brand consultants, it just happened to be the name of a local boutique yards from the Norwich Union head office.
The insurer is quickly backtracking on the story by saying no decision has been made, with insiders adding that any change would take years. With the insurer seeking to be environmentally friendly, scrapping vast amounts of literature just for a name change would be difficult to justify.
Private medical insurance: News update: July 2007